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Aline Sara and NaTakallam

Published 10 Dec 2020
Reference 6630
Region Global
Summary

After completing a post-graduate degree in International Affars, Aline Sara founded NaTakallam - a social enterprise relying on digital technology to connect refugees and displaced people with language learners looking for online classes in Arabic, Persian, French and Spanish. After a promising start, she now has to decide if NaTakallam should operate with an impact-first mindset or a more aggressive market orientation. Should it be content with gradual self-funded growth or aim for faster growth and seek external funding?

Teaching objectives

This short case is suitable for modules related to impact-driven business, technology-driven business, digital disruption, entrepreneurship, social enterprise, nonprofit management and purposeful leadership. It is particularly well suited to discussion of how business can serve as a force for good in a humanitarian context – in this case the global refugee crisis. The case allows students to explore (i) how the intention to achieve impact combined with the discipline of a market-based approach can produce more effective solutions to neglected societal needs, (ii) the dilemmas involved in strategic choices when the pursuit of financial sustainability and scale-up of a business involves external funding that may dilute the impact-focused mission.

Keywords
  • Language Education
  • Social Impact
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Social Enterprise
  • Impact Business
  • Inclusive Business
  • Refugee Crisis
  • Venture Funding
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Business Model Innovation
  • Scaling Up Strategy
  • Financial Sustainability
  • Digital Disruption
  • Technology Business
  • Q42020